Imagine a life without computers and smartphones. That you can make use of such great technologies is strongly coupled to the generation of very small patterns using light by lithography. Did you ever wonder how you can generate the 12 nm nodes of a processor chip of a modern laptop or how to generate microfluidic parts for lab-on-chip application?
To understand the generation of such structures we need to take a step back: In order to generate or transform a material by a chemical reaction, energy must be imparted into the reaction partners. One way to add energy to the system is by heating it to a certain temperature so that the reaction can proceed. We do this intuitively each time with our food when we use the fridge or cook something. A technologically very important way to add energy to the systems is by irradiation of the samples with visible, UV or other light. We will discuss in our lecture how photochemistry is used to generate living materials systems and to “write into stone” (= literal translation of the word “lithography”). We will focus on the fundamental processes, how the process proceeds and how light is used to write pattern into surfaces. We will discuss lab procedures and how the technology is applied in industrial processes.
In the lecture we will introduce some of the basic concepts of photolithography at an undergraduate level and show how this concept is relevant for the livMatS research vision. In the end we will highlight some current research on this topic in our Cluster. After the lecture, you should be able to understand some of the basics of the interaction of light with matter and know how photopatterning can be performed in our livMatS labs.